Armed miners have reportedly invaded a village in a remote part of Brazil and killed a tribal leader.
Villagers fled but were planning to return, sparking fears of a “bloodbath,” according to local reports.
The violence began last week when the indigenous leader was reportedly stabbed to death in an area belonging to the Waiapi tribe in Amapa state, in the north of the country.
It came as around 50 miners, known as “garimpeiros,” were said to have overrun the Waiapi village of Mariry.
The leader’s body was reportedly found with stab wounds in a river.
The village is 186 miles from the state capital and a team of police departed to investigate.
Randolfe Rodrigues, an opposition senator from Amapa, writing on his Facebook page, said: “The situation is urgent.”
He warned of a “bloodbath” and added: “This is the first violent invasion in 30 years since the demarcation of the indigenous reserves in Amapa.”
Jawaruwa Waiapi, a Wajãpi leader, said the government should send soldiers because the miners were armed with rifles. He said: “We’re in danger.”
There are more than 1,000 Waiapi living in remote villages near the Brazilian border with French Guiana.
Brazil’s tribal peoples have long faced pressure from miners, ranchers and loggers.